For years, the most popular shopping day of the year was always the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday. Folks across the country would turn in early after their turkey feasts to set their alarms for ungodly hours before getting up to wait in line at their local Best Buy for the best deals of the year. As we have embarked on the Internet Age, however, there’s a new kid on the block: Cyber Monday. Now shoppers can wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to shop for terrific online deals from the comfort of their own homes. Per a recent study from Deloitte, 53% of people will rely on Cyber Monday for deals this year compared to only 44% planning on taking advantage of Black Friday.
As online shoppers across the nation open their laptops to take advantage of the deals, it is important to recognize the importance of fiber optics on Cyber Monday. According to TechCrunch, Cyber Monday sales hit $7.9 billion last year and there’s no reason to believe that those numbers won’t be met or exceeded in this holiday season. With the massive number of transactions on Cyber Monday, the reliability of fiber networks is vital.
Fiber provides the needed backbone to wireless and wired networks, which is so important for the business of Cyber Monday, including for retailers from Amazon and Walmart.com to a local Etsy shop. In particular, financial institutions such as credit card companies, banks, and credit reporting agencies supporting the retailers all need reliable, high-speed connectivity as do logistics and delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, and USPS in order run the data for tracking, shipping coordination, flights, and trucking to bring packages long distances to your doorstep. Fiber networks provide this reliable, high-speed, low-latency, and future-proof connectivity that such commerce demands.
Fiber not only supports wired networks but ultimately supports wireless networks too, allowing transactions that begin in a wireless environment to happen successfully. A purchase made on a cell phone travels back to the credit card company via a wired network; the UPS delivery truck connects from a wireless device to a wired network to update delivery information and confirmation while outside someone’s door. And these transactions happen most reliably if they get to fiber networks as soon as possible. Today, the marketplace has moved from the malls to our networks, and fiber supports the back end.
Fiber also links customers to the best possible online shopping experience in their own homes. According to our research, fiber broadband passes nearly 60 million American homes and connects nearly 24 million to the Internet. These consumers are able to get online faster and more reliably than those who connect via cable or wireless connections. Fiber also supports cellular connectivity to allow end-users to shop on the go from their cars or while walking around town. This reliable backbone provides the best way to shop online, so customers don’t have to deal with lost online carts or spotty connectivity and retailers can process payments reliably.
Likewise, many of the most popular devices that consumers purchase on Cyber Monday also will rely on fiber connectivity. Many shoppers this season will be rushing to upgrade their entertainment systems to smart 4K TVs. These and other Internet of Things devices, of course, rely heavily on fiber broadband to operate at maximum capacity. Additionally, shoppers will seek to modernize their homes by finding deals on connected voice assistants like Google Homes or Amazon Echos. Modern connected homes require a huge amount of bandwidth — more than 100 Mbps! — and fiber broadband offers the fastest, most reliable connection to support them.
As Americans log on to find the best deals this Cyber Monday, not many of them will have fiber broadband at the top of mind. Fiber, however, will be playing a central role behind the scenes on this important day. Cheers to a well-connected shopping season!